Sabbai's Donut Hole

DK Keo boxes up doughnuts for a customer at Sabbai’s Donut Hole in Shakopee on Feb. 19.

The newest bakery in town has been years in the making, but Ashley Minh — daughter of Sabbai’s Donut Hole owners Sothy and Ohnarith Minh — said it was all worth it.

Attached to the strip mall off Canterbury Road is a shop that has a six-year history in Shakopee. It started out as a restaurant called Sabbai Express, which closed after a year, reopened, and then closed for good in 2019, Ashley Minh said. (There is still a Sabbai location at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis for Shakopee residents who miss the Cambodian and Thai fusion joint).

The Minh family spent the past year learning how to make doughnuts, Ashley Minh said. Owning a doughnut shop has always been a dream of her family’s. Ashley Minh’s uncle, who lives in Texas, has owned a doughnut shop in Texas for 30 years. Her parents flew down there to spend a month with him last year, learning from his shop.

“Making doughnuts in Minnesota is a lot different than in Texas,” Ashley Minh said, because of the temperature and humidity differences.

She said while they’re still learning a lot, the customers have so far responded well to the doughnuts— especially the apple fritters.

“Everyone’s surprised that we use real apples,” Minh said. “I thought, doesn’t everyone? But I guess not.”

Ashley Minh and her cousin, DK Keo, typically arrive at the bakery at 2 a.m. on days when it’s open, which is currently Wednesday through Sunday, to start baking. They don’t leave the bakery until 2 p.m. at the earliest. But they take pride in the doughnutsthey learned to make themselves. On Valentine’s Day weekend, the line was out the door despite the subzero temperatures, and the doughnuts were sold out before noon.

“I’ll be making more doughnuts as soon as we’re done talking,” Ashley Minh said as more customers flowed into the small shop and more doughnuts flew off the rack around 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19.

For the Minh family involved in the doughnut shop, it’s a pleasure to be open again to a community they grew up in.

“We’ve been in Shakopee for more than 20 years,” Ashley Minh said. “I went to high school here, my extended family lives here… it’s great because we love Shakopee.”

In addition to doughnuts, The Donut Hole sells bubble tea. That’s what started the Minh family’s food ventures in the first place, Ashley Minh said. Years ago, they sold bubble tea at their Cambodian temple, and people would wait in line for 45 minutes to make their orders.

Ashley Minh said she recommends the taro bubble tea for anyone looking to be adventurous, but not too adventurous. It’s made with taro, a sweet potato-like root vegetable, and a hint of vanilla, and when it’s mixed with strawberry, she said it tastes like Captain Crunch cereal.

And, of course, Keo said customers can’t go wrong with any doughnuts on the rack involving chocolate. Some of the most popular orders have been bismarcks, because customers can choose one of 12 fillings.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.